The government has set a target to achieve 31 million tons of fish from farming in 2019, a two-fold increase compared to the archipelago’s yearly production.
“In the next five years, [we aim] to jack up fish farming production to 31.3 million tons [per year], valued at Rp 365.8 trillion [US$28.67 billion],” said Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo in Jakarta on Thursday.
Currently, the country produces only 13.3 million tons of fish from farming worth Rp 112.70 trillion.
Production comprises 22 million tons of seaweed and 9 million tons of fish, Indroyono added.
To reach the target, the government will expand farming areas up to 26.80 percent within the next five years from 10.80 percent currently.
According to Indroyono, the government would focus on shrimp, ornamental fish, grouper and red snapper in oceanic fisheries, while freshwater fisheries would focus on edible nila, patin and catfish.
According to Indroyono, the ministry will coordinate with various governmental agencies, including provincial administrations, to develop aquaculture farms nationwide.
The Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry has also decided to form a interdepartmental task force to spearhead the country’s five-year aquaculture development program, especially dealing with challenges in aquaculture development.
- spearhead – mempelopori, membuka jalan bagi
“The task force will be in charge of all matters concerning fish feed imports, aquaculture exports and investment opportunities,” Indroyono said, without mentioning the deadline by which the task force will be established.
Since the office was still recruiting members, it had appointed an internal official, Safri Burhanuddin, to chair the new task force, Indroyono told The Jakarta Post.
The team will comprise officers from the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, Trade Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Environment and Forestry Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Navy, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG).
Indroyono also hinted at the possibility of including the Finance Ministry or banking institutions for future access to financing.
Separately, Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said that the team would have to draft the necessary policies and collect information on the available sites before it could work on access to funding.
“We’ll draft a design […] and then make several investments to support the program,” Rachmat said. “There’s a lot of access to the global market [for aquaculture].”
This development comes following a shift in focus at the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, which has up until now focused on combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Previously, the office has set up a task force to combat IUU fishing.
requested by the House of Representatives’ Commission IV during the meeting between the House and the ministry early this week regarding the later’s five-year development plan, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti was told to start developing an aquaculture subsector to boost production and exports in the fisheries sector, as laid out in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s grand maritime axis plan.
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